4 kids in 3 years: reflections on motherhood, art and life.
I want to write about this week, but I have nothing much to say, or at least nothing orderly, entertaining or lyrical. (How’s that for a first line? This can only get better, am I right?)
Being sick sucks, although this sweet little kiss of illness, the gentle brush of pain and shingly exhaustion, has kindly reminded me that life is awesome. As my doctor said, “Stop crying, you big baby. You have Shingles, not Parkinson’s!” (I may have embellished, but this is definitely what he meant.)
It’s been a week of feeling under water, just barely getting the stuff done I needed to. Sitting at soccer practice, no longer charging the Fitbit, allowing my pasty white belly to become like a shank of fatted veal. By the way, my children are loving nuzzling their little fists into that joyous layer of leftover pregnancy skin, kindly padded with the high-end chocolate bars my husband keeps buying me to show me that he’s sorry that I’m sick.
See? there’s an upside to almost anything.
What’s been strange about this past week is that I haven’t actually stopped doing everything, I’ve just done it all less well while complaining way more, or at the very least, minimizing my effort. I’ve become a prophetic guru of the low road. I’ve even been telling my equally life-overwhelmed running besty to “take the foul” and “punt.”
It’s gone like this.
Besty: Where are the servers going to stand if the food tables are shaped like oblong half-eggs?
Me: Punt. We’ll figure it out the night of the auction.
Besty: Um. Sure your owl woodcut is great, but we already hung the heron, remember? What if someone saw it and thinks they’re going to bid on the heron?
Me: It’s a bird. They’re both birds. The owl is better. Take the foul on this one. They can bid on the owl.
Besty: So, I was looking at the list of auction items and..
Me: Punt. Take the foul.
Besty: You need to stop saying that. Seriously.
Me: You know you love it.
But that’s about where life needs to be these days. Punt. Take the foul. And there’s something to be said about it.
Me punting a whole week of my kids having “spring vacation” and me being sick looked like this.
My daughter actually said to my husband at the end of one particularly let’s-read-another-book, who-wants-to-play-cards? sort of day, “Today was great! Mom was like a babysitter, she was so good.” So there’s that. Being a slow and exhausted punter has potentially made me a better mother, or at least the mother my kids would have if I were a 20-year-old making $15 an hour for caring for them.
And me punting the owl woodcut looked pretty damn good, too, if I do say so myself.
Me taking the foul at the birthday party where I followed four kids around a waterpark wearing a bikini maybe looked not-as-good. (Did I mention that I’m pasty white, I haven’t worked out in two weeks and I have shingles on my lady bits and legs? Thank god for the open bar is all I can say. Because anyone watching me in a bikini deserved a drink, I tell you.)
We still did crafts at the farm market.
We still crowded into the minivan and sang every song from Frozen over and over and over again.
And you know what I did this weekend? I lay down while my husband took the kids down to the field and created his own mini-soccer-camp for kids ages 3-6. The last time I lay down in the middle of the day I had a newborn attached to my boob and an oozing c-section incision.
And you know what? When I got up from that little rest, I cleaned the mudroom, the back porch and… wait for it… the garage.
So maybe I’m on my way back. I mean, I’m not running any half-marathons this weekend (which, oddly enough, I was actually signed up for) but I’m still in the game. I’m punting, actually. I’m taking the foul.
I’m making it work, as Tim Gunn would say. And I have to admit, I’m feeling fine about it.
Maybe there are some days (or weeks or months) when we all need to just punt, when enough is enough.
Look, there. I’m giving you permission. I’m insisting. Take the foul. You’ve surely earned it.
(And that folks, would be me punting my blog post. It’s not a touchdown, but it’s something.)